The Best Cannabis Strains for Migraines
Many of us suffer from headaches now and then. However, when a migraine headache occurs, it’s an entirely different ball game. Aside from the throbbing head pain, nausea, and vomiting, one of the biggest problems is that when a migraine sets in, it may feel as if you’ve gone head-on with a semi-truck. It can completely wreck your day and become debilitating. According to some migraine sufferers, “A migraine has a life of its own.” The only problem is that it takes your life along for the ride.
Are All Migraines Alike?
The textbook definition of a migraine is a severe, painful headache that can be preceded or accompanied by sensory warning signs such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.
In the U.S., more than 37 million people suffer from migraines, which is an estimated 13% of adults. They are more common in women than men and can last anywhere up to 72 hours. Unfortunately, some people suffer from chronic migraines, where the symptoms can last for more than 15 days a month.
One thing to note is that each sufferer will experience migraine differently. A migraine you experience will be entirely different from how your friends and relatives experience them.
People who suffer from migraines can often clearly identify specific triggers.
- Allergies: These can be seasonal or even allergic reactions.
- Irregular Environments: This can include bright lights or loud noises. Party lights and even strong smells can trigger migraines.
- Stress: This can be any type of stress. Examples include work-related, depression, tension, and even physical stress.
- Sleep: Tiredness, jet lag, or irregular sleep can all lead to migraines.
- Change of Diet: Some migraine sufferers claim that when they skip a meal, eat too much or too little of something (chocolate, nuts, bananas), it will trigger the start of a migraine. Specific foods that contain tyramine (smoked fish, figs, beans) or nitrates (salami and bacon) are also known to trigger the pain.
According to migraine.com, 65% of chronic migraine sufferers reported that depression was a comorbidity.
Migraine Treatments Cannabis and Conventional
Traditional medications developed to treat migraines include narcotics, anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin or ibuprofen), triptans (Frova and Imitrex), and ergots.
Let’s Explore Some Alternative Solutions
Data suggests that people have been using cannabis as a migraine treatment for years but is only now coming to light. A marijuana study published by Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado recently revealed:
- Out of 121 adult participants, 40% of subjects reported positive effects.
- The average number of migraine headaches decreased from 10.4 per month to 4.6.
Do All Cannabis Strains Have a Positive Effect on our Brain?
The answer is no. Furthermore, it is best to consult with your medical marijuana physician before choosing the cannabis migraine treatment route. Some marijuana strains could even have the opposite effect. They may cause your heart to race, initiating allergic reactions, and causing symptoms that could lead to a migraine.
If you suffer from migraines and have access to medical marijuana, then it could be helpful. But with so many different cannabis strains out there, where is the best place to start? Thankfully, we’ve done the groundwork for you. Here are the five best marijuana strains for instant migraine relief:
OG Kush Marijuana Strain
This cannabis strain is quite common, and consumers will find it in nearly every dispensary. The reason why it’s at the top of our list is that it has powerful sedative effects. This cannabis strain takes the edge off and also helps to combat symptoms associated with migraines. OG Kush is a hybrid cannabis strain that can contain up to 20% THC. This strain may help with pain, and also help take your mind off your migraine.
Pro tips for WICKED yields!…
Why Is the OG Kush Cannabis Strain Good For Migraines?
Due to its high THC levels, OG Kush can provide immediate relief. Also, its CBD content will help to support reducing the pain long-term. With this cannabis strain, it is crucial to catch the migraine before it becomes full-blown.
ACDC Marijuana Strain
This strain is an excellent choice for those who want a solution but don’t want the excessive psychoactive effects. ACDC is a high CBD strain that is sativa-dominant. ACDC has a 1:20 THC/CBD ratio, with CBD levels that can reach as high as 19%. It is known for reducing inflammation, which makes it effective at reducing the symptoms of migraines. ACDC is a great cannabis solution for combating anxiety and depression. Furthermore, due to its low THC content, a psychoactive high will rarely occur.
Why Is the Cannabis Strain ACDC Good For Migraines?
ACDC is rich in CBD. It is a strange but pleasant cannabis strain and has a sweet and earthy scent. It provides a happy and calm feeling, which is perfect for treating chronic pains, such as migraines. Many people use this strain to address anxiety, seizures, nausea, tumors, and tremors.
Harlequin Marijuana Strain
Harlequin is a 75% sativa-dominant hybrid that has a 5:2 CBD/THC ratio. It usually has approximately 4-7% THC and 8-16% CBD. Harlequin produces a feeling of clear-headedness and alertness, which may help you get through your day. This cannabis strain is beneficial for people who have high levels of pain associated with their migraines. The reason for this is it has a balance of THC and CBD, that allows for good pain relief without an intense high. Harlequin is also known to be relaxing but non-sedating.
Why Is the Cannabis Strain Harlequin Good For Migraines?
It is essential to use Harlequin before the migraine becomes full-blown. This way, the impact of the THC and CBD can be maximized. The THC may cause a mild buzz, and the CBD (depending on the CBD levels), can help with the pain.
Purple Kush Marijuana Strain
Some migraines are so bad that the only solution is to relax and wait for them to pass. Most sufferers say that sleep helps. Purple Kush may be helpful as it induces a numbing sensation that can promote sleep. Purple Kush is a pure indica strain that emerged from Oakland after cross-breeding Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani Cross. It contains 17-22% THC, and 0.07-0.1% CBD.
It’s easier than you think!…
Why Is the Purple Kush Cannabis Strain Good For Migraines?
This strain won’t have the same effect as the other high CBD strains. Its powers rely mainly on its THC content, which soothes the intensity of the migraine. It is best to use this strain before bed or if you have the time to relax and wait off the migraine.
Remedy Marijuana Strain
As the name implies, this indica strain is a powerful remedy for migraines. Similar to ACDC, it contains barely any THC and has typically around 15% CBD. Remedy produces a relaxing, mellow feeling, which is sometimes exactly what is needed to combat a painful migraine.
Why Is the Remedy Strain Good for Migraines?
You won’t find this strain in every dispensary, but it is one that should be on your list. Similar to all strains, you should try to catch the migraine before it knocks you out for the count. Remedy is a strain that will instantly combat your migraine but won’t put you out of action.
If you are interested in finding out more about how to apply for a medical marijuana card, then click on the link below.
We’ve done the research for yo…
Final Thoughts About Cannabis as a Treatment for Migraines
It is vital to consume marijuana responsibly. Whenever you are trying new strains, make sure you start slowly. And as with all health regimen changes, please consult your medical provider first.
Cannabis strains are an effective treatment for migraine. Learn which marijuana strains are effective and which made the top of our best strains list.
Best Strains of Cannabis for Migraines
Home / Blog / Best Strains of Cannabis for Migraines
Best Strains of Cannabis for Migraines
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 10/08/2019 in Ailments and Conditions
Updated on August 26, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Best Strains of Cannabis for Migraines
Migraine headaches cause severe pain that can last for hours or even days on end. Most migraine sufferers have one or two attacks per month, but the unfortunate minority who suffer chronic daily migraine can have 15 or more headaches a month.
Even though it is not quite clear what happens in the brain to kick off a migraine, certain factors or “triggers” can set them off in susceptible people. These triggers vary tremendously from person to person, but generally include hormonal fluctuations, environmental factors such as weather or bright lights, certain smells, alcohol, specific foods, poor sleep, and stress. Knowing these triggers can help a person head off a migraine before it starts, but that’s not always possible, and not everyone who gets migraines can identify a clear trigger.
There isn’t one treatment for migraine, and people resort to a variety of home remedies including dietary changes and lying down in a quiet, darkened room; over-the-counter drugs; and prescription medications to prevent or relieve pain.
Not surprisingly, there has been growing interest in cannabis for treating migraine. Research on medical marijuana has been limited by federal restrictions and lack of funding, so data on its effectiveness is usually scarce. But two recent studies suggest marijuana can help treat and even prevent migraines.
In a 2016 study, 121 adults with migraines who tried cannabis at the recommendation of their physician saw their migraine frequency decrease, from an average of 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month.
A second study presented at a conference in 2017 also found that cannabis was effective for both prevention and acute treatment of migraine headaches. In one part of the study, 48 patients given an oral dose of 200mg of cannabis every day for three months experienced a 55% decrease in pain.
Much about the use of cannabis for migraines is still unknown, such as the best strain, best dose, and best method of ingestion. Not all cannabis strains will have a positive effect, and it is a good idea to consult with a cannabis physician before choosing the cannabis migraine treatment route.
When it comes to choosing a strain, there is no consensus yet on which is the most effective for curbing migraine pain or reducing their frequency. But here are some picks that appear to be helpful:
This is a common strain and widely available at dispensaries. Its powerful sedative effects can help relieve migraine symptoms. Due to its high THC content of 20%, this strain can give immediate relief, while its CBD content can help support long-term pain reduction. With this strain, it is important to use it when you feel a headache beginning, before it develops into a full-blown migraine.
ACDC is a good choice for people who would like pain relief without psychoactive effects. It has a 1:20 THC/CBD ratio, with CBD levels up to 19%, and is also anti-inflammatory, which makes it effective at helping to control migraine symptoms.
This strain can be a little hard to find, but it has a reputation for being able to control pain. It typically contains 4-7% THC and 8-16% CBD, a balance that allows for good pain relief without an intense psychoactive effect. Similar to other strains, Harlequin should be used at the first signs of a migraine and before it becomes full blown, which is when it is most effective.
Known for being one of the “most delicious” strains to medicate with, this one also has a strong 17% THC content, and is used by individuals for treating migraines and pain in general.
An indica strain with high levels of CBD (
15%), Remedy contains less than 1% THC, and is reported to produce a mellow state. The high CBD content helps reduce the inflammation associated with migraines, and can decrease pain without producing a high.
A popular strain and a true indica, Northern Lights is effective at reducing pain as well as inducing relaxation. This strain is particularly popular for treating pain, including acute or chronic migraine headaches.
Canna-Tsu is a hybrid strain derived from Cannatonic and Sour Tsunami, and contains high levels of CBD and low levels of THC. Best known for producing calming effects and mental clarity, it also lowers inflammation, which in turns helps control migraine symptoms. This strain has a reputation for reducing pain linked to migraines and headaches in general.
For some migraines, sleep is really the best remedy, and this strain is best used at bedtime or if you have time to relax and let the migraine wear off. It has a high 17-22% THC content and a low 0.07-0.1% CBD level and induces a soothing euphoric high that in turn reduces the intensity of the migraine.
There has been growing interest in cannabis for treating migraine. Two recent studies suggest marijuana can help treat and even prevent migraines.